Technical Install a 123 ignition on spider 1800

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Technical Install a 123 ignition on spider 1800


New member
Mar 31, 2023
Hello everyone

I plan to install a 123 ignition on my 124 spider sport 1800 , I did that on most of my cars so I'm pretty used to it, but this time I have a problem

When I check the distributor I can see 2 gree wires coming from it :


They are not the wires coming to the condensators , it goes directly inside the distributor

Someone has an idea of what they are ?

I think you need to remove the distributer cap and rotor arm an see what they connect to. You may have an internal condenser mounted on dizzy base plate along side the points.
As S130 has suggested, maybe remove the distributor cap and check inside?

I suspect you'll find that there are 2 sets of contact breaker points and 2 condensers (capacitors) - this was a system used on some American spec. 124 Spiders. The purpose iirc was to improve cold starting/running and afaik worked as follows:-
One set of c/b points was for cold starting and resulted in the ignition timing being advanced to 10* btdc, the other set of c/b points was for when the engine had warmed up a bit and resulted in the ignition timing reverting to the normal (for the U.S. models) setting of 5* btdc.
The changeover between the 2 sets of c/b points was controlled by a relay which received a signal from a coolant temperature sensor to show when the engine had warmed sufficiently.

If you trace the 2 green wires back from the distributor, they should lead to this 'ignition changeover relay' (I'm not sure of it's location).

The distributor/system can be modified to run on just one set of contact breaker, same as was used on the earlier cars - just connect one of the 2 green wires coming from the distributor direct to the c/b terminal on the ignition coil, bypassing the changeover relay (you could possibly use the existing wiring, just disconnect at this relay and join the appropriate 2 wires). I'd suggest setting the ignition timing to 10* btdc, as using the 5*btdc (U.S spec setting) can leave the engine feeling sluggish and unresponsive.
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Hello and very sorry for the late reply, I had many other big issues on my other cars and completely forgot to answer, and didn't touch the Spider yet

I just opened the distributor and you are right 👍, the 2 wires pass inside the distributor then go outside with 2 different wires color to connect with the 2 condensers

Thank you a lot for this explanation !
I never encountered this kind of system before so I had no clue what it was

But if I'm not mistaken, If i install the 123 ignition on the car, I wouldn't need this relay anymore because the electronic ignition would have his proper curve, so i could just disconnect the 2 wires from this relay , am I wrong ?

Thank you again

So i installed the 123 ignition yesterday, followed the procedure , and the engine won't start ..

I bought the Haynes manual to have the diagram to try to locate this cold start relay :


But I'm not sure where it is

That's the 1rst time I have trouble installing a 123 ignition on a car, I installed nearly 20 of them on many different models, so i guess there is something happening with this " dual point distributor " which is messing with it

If somebody can help me locate this relay and try to bypass it or whatever it needs to start the car

Thank you